What is a fiduciary?
A person who is granted permission by any Circuit Court in Virginia to handle the assets of another person who cannot do so due to death, infirmity, or incapacity. A fiduciary can be an executor, an administrator, a trustee, a conservator, or a guardian. A fiduciary is also the agent or attorney-in-fact named in a Power of Attorney.
Ann or Jane will serve as fiduciary in any Virginia jurisdiction and have been named as executor, administrator, trustee, or conservator.
What is the Commissioner of Accounts?
Each Circuit Court appoints at least one Commissioner of Accounts whose job is to receive and audit reports filed by fiduciaries in their jurisdiction. Simply stated, the Commissioner’s task is to verify the proper administration of assets and to rectify any improprieties, with or without the direct involvement of the Court. The Commissioner is paid a fee for each inventory and accounting audited, which is based on the value of the assets reported.
How is a fiduciary compensated?
In 2005, the Judicial Council established guidelines for fiduciary compensation in which a multiplier is applied to the total value of assets handled. The Commissioner of Accounts has discretion, however, to reduce or increase fiduciary compensation based on the complexities of the administration performed. When named as fiduciary, compensation for Ann or Jane is included in the governing document, whether it be a Will, a court order, or a trust agreement.
Does Court Accountings LLC give legal advice?
No. Our job is to prepare inventories and accountings using the format mandated by the Circuit Court. In other words, we report what happened during administration. The fiduciary is encouraged to seek legal assistance as needed for such services as deed preparation, negotiation or litigation with beneficiaries, and division of assets.
Does Court Accountings LLC prepare taxes?
No. Our expertise lies in the preparation of fiduciary inventories and accountings; we are not trained to prepare tax returns. However, we are aware that many fiduciaries will be required to file taxes, and we cooperate with tax professionals to ensure timely and proper filings.
What will it cost for Court Accountings LLC to prepare an inventory or accounting?
We charge $70 per hour for all services we provide, and the cost for a particular project depends upon its complexity. When selecting a professional to prepare your fiduciary inventory and accounting, keep in mind that our rates are significantly lower than those for an attorney or accountant. We are happy to provide a cost estimate once we review your particular situation.
What is a fiduciary bond?
In certain circumstances the Circuit Court requires a fiduciary to purchase an insurance policy whose proceeds can guarantee the proper disposition of assets. This is called a fiduciary bond. It is required for any fiduciary residing out-of-state. It is also required if the governing instrument either specifically requests it or does not specifically waive it. The fiduciary bond remains in effect until the Commissioner of Accounts notifies the bonding company that the fiduciary has successfully concluded his or her duties.
If I live out of state, can I hire Court Accountings LLC?
Yes. We can assist any fiduciary recognized by a Circuit Court within the Commonwealth regardless of where that person lives because we communicate with all of our clients via phone, email, and US Mail or other delivery service. For our out-of-state clients, we expand our services to include actual delivery to the Commissioner of Accounts, retrieval after the audit, and return of all documents to the fiduciary. In addition we contact the bonding company to facilitate the renewal or dismissal of the fiduciary bond.
What documents are needed to prepare an inventory or accounting?
Typically we review bank statements, stock certificates, brokerage statements, vehicle registration, certificates of deposit, appraisals, and the governing instrument (will, trust, or court order). Other backup documentation might be required, depending upon the nature of the assets in question. If Court Accountings LLC does not prepare it, we ask for a copy of the approved inventory. We also request a copy of the death certificate, the letter of qualification issued by the Clerk of Court, and notification of the federal tax ID number.